05-13-2017, 07:23 AM
#1
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Out of curiosity, I pose to those of you in the know about shaving technique/method in achieving a smooth, comfortable and clean shave. Whether It's BBS, DFS or etc.... I have been a fan of adjustable razors ever since I started my wet shaving journey a little over a year ago. I was predominantly a straight and cartridge man myself before dropping the plastic habit and venturing into the de and se world. I have not looked back since. I do love adjustable DE's, mechanical shaving marvels, at least to my eyes.

But I was curious as to whether a progressive approach in using an adjustable razor starting from a lower number setting and gradually increasing the number and aggressiveness during each pass was equal to or better than a regressive approach in starting at a higher number and working towards a lower setting and less aggressive shave. I have always set my adjustables at a specific number, depending on days of growth and the closeness I was looking for. Yes, a set and forget man I was.

Recently, in another forum I decided to try both these methods just to see if there was an advantage to either of the methods. I started by trying to negate as many variables as possible by using the same hardware and software as to keep it as even stevens as possible. Here is what I used:

2 Parker Variants
Kai s/s blades
Stone Cottage Creams (Suede de Kashmir & Coconut Sandalwood)
Semogue #1305 Boar

I would shave one side of my face using the progressive method, and the other side would be the regressive method. 2-3 pass max on each side with some buffing and touch ups. For me it's WTG, ATG then XTG and done, usually the first 2 passes get it done nicely.
To make a long story short, I have 3 shaves in trying this little experiment and so far I have learned that both methods provide a very close and long lasting shave. I have experienced though on the side where I use the progressive method the shaves do leave certain areas a little irritated, especially along the jawline area. Nothing glaring or leaving me tender and red, but the irritation is there and an alum pass certainly lets me know that my skin took a hit. On the other side conversely, shaving regressively has left me with no irritation or discomfort at any time during those 3 shaves. In post shave feel the shaves are wonderful on both sides leaving my face feeling soft, supple and extremely smooth.
On the flip side, I have noticed consistently that the side where I shaved progressively the 5 O'clock shadow is significantly less pronounced than on the side that was regressively shaved. I can feel stubble forming on the regressive side 6-7 hours after the shave. Where as the progressive side it is still smooth and clean for 2-3 hours longer.

I have some idea and a theory as to what might be happening, but I still would like to get one or two more shaves in before I make my final thoughts on this experiment.
What I ask you gents is this. Is there an advantage to either one of these methods? All things being equal in set up, prep and good technique, does one have the advantage over the other?

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 05-13-2017, 10:29 AM
#2
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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(05-13-2017, 07:23 AM)SteelyEdge Wrote: Out of curiosity, I pose to those of you in the know about shaving technique/method in achieving a smooth, comfortable and clean shave. Whether It's BBS, DFS or etc.... I have been a fan of adjustable razors ever since I started my wet shaving journey a little over a year ago. I was predominantly a straight and cartridge man myself before dropping the plastic habit and venturing into the de and se world. I have not looked back since. I do love adjustable DE's, mechanical shaving marvels, at least to my eyes.

But I was curious as to whether a progressive approach in using an adjustable razor starting from a lower number setting and gradually increasing the number and aggressiveness during each pass was equal to or better than a regressive approach in starting at a higher number and working towards a lower setting and less aggressive shave. I have always set my adjustables at a specific number, depending on days of growth and the closeness I was looking for. Yes, a set and forget man I was.

Recently, in another forum I decided to try both these methods just to see if there was an advantage to either of the methods. I started by trying to negate as many variables as possible by using the same hardware and software as to keep it as even stevens as possible. Here is what I used:

2 Parker Variants
Kai s/s blades
Stone Cottage Creams (Suede de Kashmir & Coconut Sandalwood)
Semogue #1305 Boar

I would shave one side of my face using the progressive method, and the other side would be the regressive method. 2-3 pass max on each side with some buffing and touch ups. For me it's WTG, ATG then XTG and done, usually the first 2 passes get it done nicely.
To make a long story short, I have 3 shaves in trying this little experiment and so far I have learned that both methods provide a very close and long lasting shave. I have experienced though on the side where I use the progressive method the shaves do leave certain areas a little irritated, especially along the jawline area. Nothing glaring or leaving me tender and red, but the irritation is there and an alum pass certainly lets me know that my skin took a hit. On the other side conversely, shaving regressively has left me with no irritation or discomfort at any time during those 3 shaves. In post shave feel the shaves are wonderful on both sides leaving my face feeling soft, supple and extremely smooth.
On the flip side, I have noticed consistently that the side where I shaved progressively the 5 O'clock shadow is significantly less pronounced than on the side that was regressively shaved. I can feel stubble forming on the regressive side 6-7 hours after the shave. Where as the progressive side it is still smooth and clean for 2-3 hours longer.

I have some idea and a theory as to what might be happening, but I still would like to get one or two more shaves in before I make my final thoughts on this experiment.
What I ask you gents is this. Is there an advantage to either one of these methods? All things being equal in set up, prep and good technique, does one have the advantage over the other?
Steely, I myself use the progressive method when I shave wth my Fat Boy. I've almost never in my life experienced irritation from shaving and I haven't from this so Im not  the best one to speak to that.

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 05-13-2017, 11:03 AM
#3
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I have also found less razor burn with dialing down the aggressiveness on the atg pass.

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 05-14-2017, 05:06 AM
#4
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(05-13-2017, 10:29 AM)Mouser Wrote:
(05-13-2017, 07:23 AM)SteelyEdge Wrote: Out of curiosity, I pose to those of you in the know about shaving technique/method in achieving a smooth, comfortable and clean shave. Whether It's BBS, DFS or etc.... I have been a fan of adjustable razors ever since I started my wet shaving journey a little over a year ago. I was predominantly a straight and cartridge man myself before dropping the plastic habit and venturing into the de and se world. I have not looked back since. I do love adjustable DE's, mechanical shaving marvels, at least to my eyes.

But I was curious as to whether a progressive approach in using an adjustable razor starting from a lower number setting and gradually increasing the number and aggressiveness during each pass was equal to or better than a regressive approach in starting at a higher number and working towards a lower setting and less aggressive shave. I have always set my adjustables at a specific number, depending on days of growth and the closeness I was looking for. Yes, a set and forget man I was.

Recently, in another forum I decided to try both these methods just to see if there was an advantage to either of the methods. I started by trying to negate as many variables as possible by using the same hardware and software as to keep it as even stevens as possible. Here is what I used:

2 Parker Variants
Kai s/s blades
Stone Cottage Creams (Suede de Kashmir & Coconut Sandalwood)
Semogue #1305 Boar

I would shave one side of my face using the progressive method, and the other side would be the regressive method. 2-3 pass max on each side with some buffing and touch ups. For me it's WTG, ATG then XTG and done, usually the first 2 passes get it done nicely.
To make a long story short, I have 3 shaves in trying this little experiment and so far I have learned that both methods provide a very close and long lasting shave. I have experienced though on the side where I use the progressive method the shaves do leave certain areas a little irritated, especially along the jawline area. Nothing glaring or leaving me tender and red, but the irritation is there and an alum pass certainly lets me know that my skin took a hit. On the other side conversely, shaving regressively has left me with no irritation or discomfort at any time during those 3 shaves. In post shave feel the shaves are wonderful on both sides leaving my face feeling soft, supple and extremely smooth.
On the flip side, I have noticed consistently that the side where I shaved progressively the 5 O'clock shadow is significantly less pronounced than on the side that was regressively shaved. I can feel stubble forming on the regressive side 6-7 hours after the shave. Where as the progressive side it is still smooth and clean for 2-3 hours longer.

I have some idea and a theory as to what might be happening, but I still would like to get one or two more shaves in before I make my final thoughts on this experiment.
What I ask you gents is this. Is there an advantage to either one of these methods? All things being equal in set up, prep and good technique, does one have the advantage over the other?
Steely, I myself use the progressive method when I shave wth my Fat Boy. I've almost never in my life experienced irritation from shaving and I haven't from this so Im not  the best one to speak to that.
Thanks for the reply and honesty. I'm figuring though that perhaps it was user error in my case of perhaps being a little overzealous in achieving a BBS shave. As I've noted above, I did not get irritation on one of those 3 shaves and it was virtually perfect. Maybe my angle was of just a tad or maybe the progressive method is just not agreeing with my face and skin. But I'll give it one more go just to see.....

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 05-14-2017, 06:06 AM
#5
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I've always found starting with a more efficient setting and then 'dialing back' later in the shave works. I believe this is because as the shave progresses, there is less beard hair to cut, so a 'finer' tool is called for.

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 05-14-2017, 08:20 AM
#6
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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I use the "dial it up as I go" method on the theory that the whatever is left is a little shorter so I need more blade exposure to grab it. Anyway I always experiment with matters like this and I found I  got a closer, smoother shave this way. But the difference was so exceedingly small the call could just as well be it makes no difference.

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 05-14-2017, 09:50 AM
#7
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Excellant question, I start comparing with the grass of our house, if we initially use the highest setting, the other more "soft" adjustments will not cut anything else, of course, grass is one thing, beard is another, but I follow this Same reason, start at level 3 and go up to 6

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 05-17-2017, 03:23 AM
#8
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My perspective on using an adjustable razor seems to change weekly. Although Ive been using the Merkur Futur for 4 years, I've just recently gained confidence in my ability to use it correctly.

My perspective shifted drastically upon reading about a fellow who described shaving at a lower setting. Never occurred to me to do that. I believed a higher setting resulted in a closer shave. I learned that a close shave can be obtained on ANY setting provided you understand what you're using the setting for.

I found that lower settings (and a very light touch) minimize the risk of cuts and razor burn. A lower setting allows me to shave faster and apply as many strokes required to remove whiskers without razor burn. Since I don't follow the "3 pass rule", being able to apply multiple passes is invaluable.

Being fastidious about feeling no facial hair whatsover, I turn to a higher setting to take advantage of the increased blade angle. I slow it down to skim off those fine hairs that rest very close to the surface.

I no longer look at a setting, blade or razor as "aggressive". I find the only difference between settings in that regard is the pressure I apply. Being mindful of applying minimal pressure virtually negates the risk of irritating the face.

So, for me, starting low and ending high does the trick. I shave more area faster at a low setting and do detail, touch up and clean up on high.

Sent from my 9020A using Tapatalk

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 05-20-2017, 08:26 PM
#9
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I have always decided on what level to shave with in the beginning and left it there for the duration. Nothin against tuning throughout the shave it's just not my style.

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 05-20-2017, 10:18 PM
#10
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once you get the hang of shaving with safety razors no matter if its DE, SE ( injector,gem or ac blade) no matter if its mild or super aggressive ( except extremely mild ones in my case) you will shave with all of them eyes closed if you want and irritation free. How do I know  this?  Well lets just say 1 year a go I landed on wetshaving forums and my first shave was with Futur Clone with very few nicks but my skin looked like I have been sanding it with sand paperl, red as heck! Here I'm year later, every day shaving and I know I shave my self with way more confidence that my dad did, I know cause I watched him shave as kid and strange enough he never taught me how to shave with safety razor, gotta say thanks to forums and youtube, wow youtube while can be the dumpster for a lot of garbage and weird agendas vids, it also has very educational vids if one wants to learn.

My answer to your problem is give it a time, sorry I speed read your post so I'm assuming you got some problems with DE shaving in general due to razor burn.

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 05-24-2017, 04:46 PM
#11
  • Quando
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  • A Diplomatic Immunity Zone
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(05-20-2017, 10:18 PM)bazemk Wrote: once you get the hang of shaving with safety razors no matter if its DE, SE ( injector,gem or ac blade) 

What are ac blades?

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 05-25-2017, 10:50 AM
#12
  • thw
  • Junior Member
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I've used progressive, regressive and single settings on adjustable razors during a shave. There are so many variables in play that I can't say with any certainty what is the best method for myself let alone for anyone else. However, while I do think that nicks and weepers are generally more likely to occur with a progressive method, this is dependent on the initial setting. If the initial setting is close to a person's comfort level, it would seem likely that nicks and irritation are more likely to occur at any higher setting. In short, I would suggest not going beyond the highest setting with which one is comfortable with either method, progressive or regressive.

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 05-25-2017, 03:20 PM
#13
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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All good points about developing "mad" shaving skills. I've gotten to where I can get a BBS with my blue tip, i haven't nicked myself in over a year and I  get one or two weepers a month. Maybe. I know because of my habit of keeping a daily shave log.
Actually my big drop in weepers happened when I went with strictly vintage blades.

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 06-01-2017, 07:41 PM
#14
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I have only used a single setting with my adjustable. I think there's more to the equation than just what setting the razor is on. Variables such as your confidence and what type of blade your using is part of the equation also.
For example, if your using a mild blade it may be best to use a higher setting and vice versa. Also, if you don't have a lot of confidence, then sticking with a lower setting is best.

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 06-07-2017, 01:33 PM
#15
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(05-24-2017, 04:46 PM)Quando Wrote:
(05-20-2017, 10:18 PM)bazemk Wrote: once you get the hang of shaving with safety razors no matter if its DE, SE ( injector,gem or ac blade) 

What are ac blades?
Artist Club. Made for the Feather Artist Club style razors. But many single edge (se) razor manufacturers have adapted them.

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